Your Thanksgiving streaming guide: Picks for any holiday weekend situation

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Image Credit: Everett Collection

Sure, the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving holiday is that big, glorious meal — a sacred tradition that shouldn’t, nay, mustn’t be sullied by glowing rectangles bearing texts or emails or live television programming. But what about after the tryptophan sets in, leaving you and your family tired, sluggish, and yearning for entertainment — long before the Steelers/Ravens game begins at 8:30 p.m. ET? For that matter, which of the Internet’s zillions of entertainment options should you turn to throughout the rest of the weekend?

Well, that’s where your friends at EW come in. Whether you’ll be juggling restless kids, grumpy siblings, weird uncles, or frazzled parents — let alone some unholy combination of all four — give thanks to PopWatch: We’ve got you covered with 10 streaming suggestions, each tailored to a specific holiday situation. Such as…

1. When you’re looking for post-Thanksgiving viewing that’s suitable for everyone from Grandma Rose to 1-year-old AiBaeJaeKayden…

Try: The Wonder Years (available on Netflix)

The Wonder Years is the most universally satisfying dramedy ever created. That’s just a scientific fact. Boomers love it because it reminds them of their youth (the show is set between 1968 and 1973); gen-Xers love it because it reminds them of their youth (its original run aired between 1988 and 1993); millennials love it because it reminds them of their youth (reruns aired on Nick at Nite from 1997 to 2001); modern-day kids probably haven’t seen it yet, but when they do, they’ll love it as well. (Note: Snotty teenagers may not love it, but that’s just because they don’t like anything.) Extra-meta pick: Season 4, episode 7, which revolves around the Arnold family’s own Thanksgiving dinner.

2. When you need to entertain the kids but can’t handle a single extra second of Spongebob…

Try: The Emperor’s New Groove(available on Netflix)

This underrated Disney gem from 2000 is one of the company’s funniest animated movies, though it hardly gets the respect of better-known comedies like Aladdin. Any youngsters raised on manic modern-day Disney Channel or Nickelodeon cartoons will love its lightning-fast pace and antic tone; older folks will appreciate its absurd cleverness and the voice work of stars David Space, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, and Patrick Warburton.

3. When you start to realize that you and your high school friends are running out of things to talk about…

Try: Can’t Hardly Wait (available on Netflix)

It’s a classic one-crazy-night teen comedy from 1999 that holds up surprisingly well; watching it also gives you the chance to smooth over awkward silences by shouting out, “Hey, isn’t that Jason Segel?” or “Whoa, I forgot all about Sean Patrick Thomas!” or “Wait, that’s totally the kid from Hook! Whatever happened to him?” (Answer: He went to Yale Law and became a professor. The more you know!) Note: This pick definitely works best for those who already have residual nostalgia for Can’t Hardly Wait. In case you need an alternative, The Breakfast Club can also be found on Netflix and Hulu.

4. When you want to bond with your dad…

Try: The Naked Gun (available on Netflix and Amazon Prime)

Sure, you could choose from any number of classic action movies (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, High Noon, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day are all on Netflix. So, by the way, is Face/Off). But it’d be even more fun to indulge in the inspired silliness of Leslie Nielsen at his dignified/ridiculous peak. Bonus: Your dad probably has some opinions about O.J. Simpson; The Naked Gun‘s opening sequence gives him the perfect opportunity to express those opinions.

5. When you want to bond with your mom…

Try: Fargo(available on Netflix and Amazon Prime)

Don’t condescend to the woman who gave you life by suggesting some drippy Nicholas Sparks-esque romance for movie night. Instead, turn on the Coen brothers’ first Best Picture nominee — a smart black comedy featuring a kick-ass pregnant protagonist played by kick-ass Best Actress Frances McDormand. Just shield her eyes during the woodchipper scene.

6. When you want to bond with your sister…

Try: Inside Amy Schumer (available on ComedyCentral.com)

Schumer’s comedy is bold, lady-friendly, and uproariously funny, so long as your sister isn’t a stick in the mud. Skip past the show’s uneven first few installments and head straight to episode 3 (titled, charmingly, “A Porn Star Is Born”), which contains a sharp deconstruction of affected female modesty that’s a highlight of the entire first season.

7. When you want to bond with your brother…

Try: Mystery Team (available on Hulu)

Before joining the writing staff of 30 Rock and, later, the cast of Community, Donald Glover got his start by forming a sketch group called Derrick Comedy with a few pals from NYU. Though they’re best known for one sophomoric YouTube video, in 2009, the group also wrote and starred in this low-budget movie — a spoof about three immature high schoolers who still fancy themselves Encyclopedia Brown-esque kid detectives. If your bro likes goofy stuff like Zoolander, he’ll dig this.

8. When you want to bond with your grandparents…

Try: His Girl Friday (available on Netflix)

Never saw this 1940 Howard Hawks classic? You’re really missing out: Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant are at their best as a divorced pair of newshounds reuniting to cover one last story. The dialogue crackles, the clothes are to die for, and while watching, Gram and Gramps can feel free to interject with stories of their own lives in the ’40s.

9. When everybody in your family is driving you insane and you need to retreat into a darkened room alone before you’re driven to murder…

Try: Requiem for a Dream (available on Netflix)

Because it never hurts to remember that things could always be a whole lot worse.

10. When you want to take the whole clan to see Catching Fire, but every showing is sold out…

Try: Battle Royale 2 (available on Netflix)

We get it, Nerdy Cousin Matt: Suzanne Collins totally stole the idea for The Hunger Games from Battle Royale. By that token, the Japanese film’s 2003 sequel might as well be an edgier Catching Fire. P.S. Battle Royale itself is also available on Netflix… as is Gary Ross’ Hunger Games. Triple feature, anyone?

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